Tucked away on a little street just between Hondoori and the department stores on the main avenue is a little curry shop called Gulliver, a simple counter with about 10-12 seats. It's easy to miss if you're just passing by, but it's very difficult to avoid the perfume of the curry that hovers around the shop. When I made my turn off Hondoori wondering if I was on the right street, the aroma of curry assured me that I was close. I got there long after the lunch rush was over, so it was only half-full. They have an interesting array of choices mix-ins and/or toppings for the curry, but I wanted something basic, so I went with the beef curry with eggplant. As soon as you're seated, a simple salad is placed in front of you, along with a nice little basket with some silverware. When you order, you are asked to indicate a spice level between 1-10. I chose a level 5. From behind the counter, I saw the cook ladling curry from the main pot (warmed in a double boiler) into a pot or pan on the burner, where I could hear the sizzle as the curry hit the hot metal.
A plate of a perfect half-moon of yellow buttered pilaf rice was placed in front of me, and moments later, a pint-sized container (a bowl with a handle) of curry with three hunks of fried eggplant resting on top. The spices of the curry here more intense than most Japanese curry I've had that are made from your standard supermarket roux blocks. There was definitely a deeper hit of cardamom and clove. The level 5 spicing also provided a good kick of heat. I like a little more balance of sweetness with the addition of some pureed fruit, but this was a perfectly good serving of curry, one of the better ones I've had in a while. A good value for 800 yen.
Looking through the tabelog food blog site, Gulliver rates in the top 15 restaurants in Hiroshima, which is a bit of a surprise.
Tabelog blog site with some photos (Japanese only): http://r.tabelog.com/hiroshima/rstdtl...